youthxchange

address: http://www.youthxchange.net/main/approachtosc.asp
title: the yxc approach
to sustainable
consumption

SC has to do with individual as well as collective responsibility to make responsible consumption and lifestyle choices in everyday life. However, some choices dictated by traditional/indigenous knowledge, respect of nature and of the others, by need or, sometimes, by a series of particular circumstances, without having a conscious ‘sustainability’ intent, can be equally linked to SC. Our ‘aspirant sustainable consumers’ can learn from them.

YXC aims at presenting stories with a larger scope than SC as a mere form of anti-consumerism.

YXC gives an opportunity to fit the multiple dimensions of SC into the educational curricula and to make a clear link between the way people leave and act in society and the wider complex issue of Sustainable Development. The training kit covers SC and the related economic (e.g. wealth distribution, industry, trade, etc.), environmental (e.g. nature conservation, animal welfare, etc.) and social issues (e.g. ‘basic needs’ - such as nutrition and education- and ‘other needs’ –such as culture and tourism).

YXC is a pedagogical tool that provides trainers with the means to clarify the notion of Sustainable Development and Sustainable Consumption (WHAT are they?), to open a debate on how to deal with such issues in our daily lives and, in particular, within any educational program (WHY does sustainable consumption matter?) showing, with concrete examples, what has been done and what could be done to move toward sustainability (HOW can we move –individually and collectively- towards sustainable lifestyles?).

To help trainers and students not feeling frustrated when facing complex issues as poverty eradication, climate change, etc., concepts and analysis have to be corroborated by concrete evidences: “change is possible, change now!” should not be perceived as an empty motto. There are several examples of how consumers’ pressures have induced changes in production and distribution patterns towards sustainability. Therefore, YXC case studies have been conceived as not exhaustive but useful examples aiming at:

bullet showing that change is possible (TESTIMONIAL VALUE)

bullet emphasising that, thanks to the internet, “you are not alone”: others persons, groups, and communities all around the world are experiencing, asking for a change (NETWORKING VALUE).

YXC has a specific training approach, more focussed on aspects of our lives rather than on traditional issue focussed sustainability learning (water, energy, fair trade, etc). The reasons for it are that to interest a young audience, the best approach is to talk to them about what they feel the closest (music, clothing, sense of identity, etc.) to facilitate the tasks of the trainer in following this innovative and participatory approach, the website was designed to be visited in two ways:

1. By theme : 9 Thematic rooms (ThR) and their related case studies following different aspects of everyday life, especially of young people, classified from the ones the closest to the individual up to others interesting the community at large;

2. By function: 6 Utilities (Facts & Figures, Dep’t Store, Jobs, Trainers Room, Test & Play, Links) by classifying the data according to the use the user can make of the information.

Should the trainer prefer to visit the issues in a more traditional way (covering therefore water, energy, climate change etc. more traditionally) it is also possible to navigate by keyword (simple search) and by keyword + date + continent + type of document (advanced search).

SC requires everyone - individuals and families, civil society organisations, institutions, companies and government authorities - to make efforts to think critically about ways of reducing the impacts of their consumption. YXC allows trainers to show that change is only possible by combining personal and collective engagement.